SHOW OF FORCE [AP94]

In March 1943 Army Group South’s operations led to the Third Battle of Kharkov. This scenario takes us to the town of  Graiworon some 40 km northwest of Kharkov during a German attack on 12 March 1943. The forces involved are elements of Soviet 305th Rifle Division and 3rd Tank Corps opposing the advance of armoured elements of the Großdeutschland Division. 

     

Oliver commanded the Germans and I had the task to come up with an defensive operational plan for my small Soviet force.

The Mission and a Plan

The Soviet defenders are to delay the Germans as long as possible. As the Soviet commander I plan to sell the skin of my men expensive and kill as many German units as possible. The threshold is 32+ CVP. Eventually the units will fall back and defend the village buildings.

Turn 1

German tanks head the attack of the Großdeutschland Division on the village. We see a Tiger I, two Pz IV F1, and two Pz III H rumbling towards the village. The Russian artillerie piece opens up on the advancing tanks but misses.

Turn 2

The German Panzergrenadiers follow up the tanks and are now infiltrating the village. the Russian infantry behaves admirably passing all their Morale Checks. Only loss is the malfunctioning Russian 76L gun.

Turn 3

The Russian gun has turned into a total loss for lack of a new gun breach. By now the German attack on the village is in full swing with half-tracks supporting the infantry in Close Combat. Both sides take losses in the vicious close quarter fighting. A resilient Russian HS locks up the German infantry in Melee buying precious time for the defenders.

VP: CVP  +11 [238, SdKfz 250, 251] VP: CVP +6 [2x 447, 76L gun]

Turn 4

The arrival of a Flammpanzer III makes the positions in the town centre untenable. The Russian infantry falls back to the last buildings. Three Soviet tanks and two fresh squads move up to bolster the defenses. Tough fighting takes place with Russian casualties mounting.

VP: CVP  +9 [8-0, 447, T-34]

Turn 5

The hard fighting in the inner town sees more German and Soviet armoured vehicles killed. The Russian 9-1 Leader goes down in Close Combat. The Russian infantry only barely holds a foothold in the town.

VP: CVP +22  [Pz III, Pz IV, SdKfz 250, 251] VP: CVP  +16 [9-1, 447, T-34, T-60]

Turn 6

The attackers move in on the last infantry units defending the village with all their might. The Flammpanzer III, the Tiger I, the Pz IV, and several infantry squads assault the Russian positions. While several Russian units break under this pressure one lone unit withstands. A pinned 5-2-7 SQ kills the Germans in an epic last stand Close combat. This deprives the Germans of the second Victory Condition as the SQ is tha last unbroken Russian MMC in a Buildung.

VP: CVP +4  [9-1, 4-6-7] 

Result

The Germans have taken heavy casualties in storming the village. The 35 CVP are higher than the max. 31 CVP allowed in the Victory Conditions. Furthermore with the last Russian squad surviving in a town building the Germans fail to clear the buildings of good order infantry. This is a hard won victory for the Soviets. All leaders were killed, the majority of the riflemen killed or routed, 3 of the 4 tanks killed, and the 76L gun lost. This Russian force is no longer combat worthy.

Scenario Rating

This scenario is exttremely fun to play. From the ROAR you will find that it might be somewhat unbalanced towards the Russians. But then you can always use the scenario Balance to boost the German attackers.

  • + Extremely fast paced scenario with lots of nail biting action.
  • –  The .
  •  Balance
  •  Originality
  •  Fun
  • Replayability
  • Medium Complexity

 

 

 

 

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